Grain initiative: 11 more vessels left Ukraine, and 96 delayed

Ukraine is transporting grain to the countries that need it to prevent food crisis. Within the “grain initiative framework,” 11 more vessels with 422 thousand tons of agricultural products left the ports of Greater Odesa in two days.

The press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure reports this.

The vessels export food to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The bulk carrier ALANDA STAR with 30.8 thousand tons of wheat, is heading to Egypt, and the tanker EUROCHAMPION with 45 thousand tons of oil, is heading to India.

Russia blocks vessels with grain under various pretexts – Ukraine’s Ministry

“The key obstacle in the work of the “grain corridor” remains the inhibition of the inspection of ships in the Bosporus by Russia under various pretexts. This has led to a stable queue of 90+ ships, millions of losses for cargo owners, under-export of at least 5-6 million tons during the year,” the Ministry of Infrastructure said.

As of December 27, 96 vessels are waiting for inspection in the Bosporus, 71 are waiting to enter the ports, and 25 are already loaded with agricultural products. Every day 6 out of 10 planned reviews take place. 

“In addition to reducing the number of inspection teams, the Russian side has resorted to the tactic of delaying the time of the inspections themselves by demanding to check the parameters of the vessels, which are not regulated by the SCC documents and have nothing to do with the subject of the inspection. Due to such actions, the number of fleets moving to load Ukrainian agricultural products is reduced,” the Ministry added.

Science August Ukraine exported 15.9 million tons of Ukraine grain

Thus, the port of Odesa recently sent the bulk carrier BRAVE M with 28 thousand tons of grain for African Libya, which waited for inspection in the corridor to enter the port for loading until this month.

Since August 1, 605 vessels have left the ports of Greater Odesa, exporting 15.9 million tons of Ukrainian food to Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Ukrainian grain exports are essential to prevent the food crisis

An UN-brokered grain deal, the Black Sea Grain Initiative, between Russia and Ukraine was renewed on November 17 for 120 days due to talks in Istanbul mediated by the UN. The agreement was extended by four months. The grain deal allows Ukrainian grain exports to world markets, and it is essential to prevent a further surge in world food prices.

Grain deal removes Russia’s blockade on Ukrainian ports

The grain deal among the UN, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey removes a Russian blockade on Ukrainian ports, allowing safe passage of grain ships. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, negotiated with the mediation of the UN and Turkey, was signed in July and created a corridor for food and fertilizer shipments.

Russia used the grain deal to get sanction exemptions for its bank

Russia has used the grain agreement to ease Western sanctions pressure. Moscow has brokered sanctions exemptions for its state bank. Thus, the US has reactivated JSC Rosselkhozbank’s correspondent accounts in exchange for Russia’s acceptance of the grain agreement. Russia can now export agricultural goods and mineral fertilizers via these accounts.

Russia stole grain from Ukraine worth $1 billion – NASA data

Based on NASA Harvest research, Russia has looted the Ukrainian regions it has captured, stealing a wheat crop worth almost $1 billion. According to Bloomberg’s analysis based on the data from NASA’s food security and agriculture program, Russia removed all the wheat harvested in the regions of Ukraine that were seized. The study maps the areas where crops have been harvested or not harvested using a machine-learning technique that looks for texture and color changes on NASA satellite photos.

Russia increased wheat exports from annexed Crimea to Syria

At the same time, in 2022, Russia increased wheat exports from the annexed Crimea to Syria 17 times – to more than 500 thousand tons. Ukraine accuses Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain from occupied territories. Ukraine and the Russian-appointed occupation authorities agree that some grain was exported from occupied Zaporizhzhia via Crimea. Still, Russia denies the allegations of grain theft.

Read also: Facts about how Russia steals Ukrainian grain.

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